Chapter Twenty Two

Callisto sighed.

"Is this some sort of trick?" he said to her.

"Just look behind you and see," Jackie said, pointing over his shoulder.

Callisto sighed. He turned, expecting to see nothing, and instead he saw a gigantic spider blocking the doorway. He looked at Jackie and Jack and saw the looks of triumph on their faces.

"Are you insane?" Callisto said. "If it kills me, it'll kill you as well. Just like Rose," he said, pointing up to her.

"No, actually, this spider's a bit different," Jack said.

Callisto suddenly noticed the translator disc on the side of the Doctor's head.

Surprise, the Doctor thought to them.

"No, it can't be," Callisto said, shaking his head.

Oh, yes it can, the Doctor thought as he came towards him. You thought the spiders would devour us and instead, I managed to shift my consciousness inside one. And now…you're going to become my prey, Callisto.

Callisto put the blaster against his temple.

"I'll kill this body," he said desperately. "I'll destroy it completely so you'll be trapped forever as a spider. I'm warning you, Doctor, don't do anything to hurt me or you lose your body forever."

You forget, that body can regenerate, the Doctor thought to him. How many times can you shoot it before I overwhelm you?

"I'll shoot them then," Callisto said, aiming the blaster at Jack and Jackie. "I'll kill Rose. I don't believe for one moment she's dead and now she's cocooned and helpless. You want their deaths on your conscience?"

The Doctor was about to say something when suddenly Jackie took the initiative and slammed directly into his side. He gasped and was thrown off balance and Jack ran forward to help Jackie keep him down. The Doctor raced to help them but suddenly there was a flash and Callisto transmatted out from under them.

"Damn it," Jack said as he stood up and helped Jackie to her feet. "Great, just lovely. He managed to get away again."

And he has Ianto, Pagos and Tiana along with the TARDIS, the Doctor thought grimly.

"So we're stranded here…again," Jack said, throwing up his hands.

But he can't use the TARDIS so at least we won't have to worry about that, the Doctor thought.

Jack and Jackie watched while the Doctor climbed the webbing and freed Rose from her vantage point. He carefully carried her down and sat her down and Jackie went to retrieve Rose's rucksack and the knife. She came back with the knife and Jack helped her cut Rose out of the webbing.

"So…you're gonna wake her up like this?" Jack said, gesturing to the spider body.

"Come into me again," Jackie said.

But what about the spider, the Doctor thought. The moment I let go, its mind comes back and it'll kill you.

"Let me use the knife and kill it while you're entering Jackie," Jack said. "I can put the knife through its head and pierce the brain."

He sighed when he sensed the Doctor's hesitation.

"Doc, I know you're thinking it's an innocent creature but do you want it to kill us? We have to do something to stop it," he said

The Doctor thought for a moment and then nodded.

Do it quickly, don't let it suffer, he thought to Jack. Jackie, put your fingers on the sides of my head. Jack, be ready.

Jack nodded. He moved Rose to the other side of the room near the doorway. He came back and positioned the knife directly over the spider's head while Jackie put her fingertips on the sides. She felt the Doctor entering her mind as quickly as he could and she allowed him to take control when he was inside her.

Now, Jack! The DoctorJackie said.

Jack rammed the knife directly into the spider's skull as it was regaining awareness. He pulled Jackie back as the spider's legs collapsed and it dropped to the ground dead.

"Sorry, mate, I'm so sorry," DoctorJackie said, patting the dead spider's head.

Jack pulled the knife out and wiped off the gore on the dirt floor while DoctorJackie walked over to Rose. The DoctorJackie knelt down and he put Jackie's fingertips against Rose's temples and closed the eyes. Slowly, Rose came around while Jack stood nearby and guarded them. Rose opened her eyes and smiled.

"Mum?" she said.

"And me, Rose, it's the Doctor," the DoctorJackie said. "I'm back inside her body."

"You didn't stop Callisto then?" Rose said as he helped her sit up.

DoctorJackie explained what happened while Jack took a peek outside the doorway.

"So now what?" Rose said when DoctorJackie finished speaking.

"I think I might be able to use the homing signal to pinpoint where the ship might be," DoctorJackie said. "I need to go back to the lab and see if I can find where the signal was transmitting to. Hopefully, we can find a way to transmat onto the ship and save our friends and take back the TARDIS."

Jack gave Rose back her rucksack before giving her a hug.

"Nice to see you again," he said.

"And you, are you alright?"

"I was shot and killed by a pissed off Callisto but I'm fit as a fiddle now," Jack said, thumping his chest.

Rose chuckled. She put his arm around him and they and Jackie followed the Doctor while he led them out of the room.

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